How Defining Your Perfect Day Can Help You Find Your Purpose
I’m inspired by the concept of bringing together East and West..
Here’s the quick explainer: I work with individuals to define their core purpose through a series of discussions and exercises that helps them wake up each day knowing what matters.
My approach is a mix of Western organizational strategy and Eastern philosophy and ancient wisdom, which allows my clients to explore their growth from all angles.
When I spoke with Angelica, that side of me that is drawn to Eastern culture and holistic health lit up.
Angelica is an ayurvedic health practitioner, but when I heard her story I knew I wanted to collaborate with her on an even deeper level.
Now, she’s one of the facilitators at my upcoming event, THE DEEP. There, she’ll be working with attendees to determine their doshas to learn how to balance them using ayurvedic practices.
However, ayurveda wasn’t the first stop on her journey - Angelica actually started off in fashion PR.
Life has a funny way of pushing us forward, through doors that may not be right for us and those that are, with equal enthusiasm.
It’s up to us to find the lessons hidden within each room of our lives, and determine whether we need to open a new door, or if we’ve finally found a place that feels like home.
As you follow Angelica’s story, think about the last time that you opened a new door.
Have you been holding yourself back from growth?
Could fulfillment and purpose lie just on the other side of new door, one that you’ve been too afraid to open?
If Angelica hadn’t left the world of PR where would she be now?
Yoga was my first love.
Though I was working in fashion PR at the time, I was going to the studio constantly. The fashion industry was taking a toll on every aspect of my health, and my practice gave me balance.
I remember being in savasana and thinking to myself, “I wish I could be at a yoga studio all day.”
“Wouldn’t that be a dream?”
Soon after, I quit my job to become a full-time yoga teacher. I started taking certifications and getting hard into the yoga world.
To me, it was like coming home.
It felt like this is what I was meant to be doing. This is where I was meant to be.
That idea of having a purpose is completely intertwined with the yogic concept of “sankalpa”, which is similar to a life goal or dharma, so I’ve spent quite a bit of time reflecting on what that means to me personally.
My sankalpa is to educate and inspire others to find their authentic selves.
When I first put my sankalpa into words, I was very intentional about my vocabulary. I wanted to have two actionable verbs that really translated into what I do everyday.
Educate- I’m constantly leading teacher trainings at my studio, and I’m educating my ayurveda students through consultations and workshops. It’s something that brings me so much joy, and I know that verb will always be a part of my life.
Inspire - I’m not here to convince or manipulate someone by any means into doing something. My calling is to lead by example and I will inspire others by living like my authentic self.
Every year I reflect on it and say “Is this still what I’m going towards?”
Just as we have the freedom to determine our purpose, we have the freedom to change it.
Yoga was the key that opened the door to a world of holistic wellness.
When I first heard of ayurveda, I was finishing up a class in my studio in L.A. One of the other instructors was talking about how she was doing an ayurvedic cleanse and I was instantly intrigued.
I’ve always been a student of life, so I had been thinking, “What's the next certification that I”m going to get? What do I want to know beyond yoga?”
Ayurveda made perfect sense. I love connecting through food and feeding the body.
I decided to do a cleanse myself to heal digestive issues that I was having and not understanding. It was really pivotal, as it helped me to realize that I am ultimately the best teacher at healing my own body.
A few years later, I was still having digestive issues and I was not receiving my period. I had moved back to Chicago and didn’t know any holistic doctors, so I went to an internist who told me that I had IBS, and that I should talk to my gynecologist about my period.
That’s when it clicked. These issues were in the same region of my body. I knew they had to connect.
Ayurveda kept coming up for me. Here was a holistic way to understand my body. I knew I needed to take control of it and educate myself.
The decision to enroll in the California College of Ayurveda and become a counselor has shifted my life drastically.
I’m still on the healing journey, but I feel like I have so much more knowledge and understanding of what’s going on with my body. I’m getting my period more regularly, though it’s not perfect by any means. I also have a better understanding of my IBS, the flare ups, and the stress that causes it.
Now, my main intention for @Soulfullveda and my clients goes back to my sankalpa. I want to empower and educate, because we all have the tools to fuel ourselves if we just know how to do it.
Sometimes I feel like I’m sitting back and watching my story - like it’s a movie in front of me and I’m just along for the ride.
Learning the lessons in hindsight, picking up on the subtle signals of my intuition in the present.
Every part of my journey has served a purpose.
When I was living in L.A. and wading into the holistic realm, I was just getting out of college, so I was still in that party mode. I’d get anxiety if I didn’t go out.
I had to have that difficult conversation with myself when I moved back to Chicago:
“Why am I not happy right now? Why do I wake up feeling guilty about my body after going out? Everyone drinks. Shouldn’t that be fine with me?”
My intuition answered: “You feel guilty because you know this isn’t serving you. This isn’t your true purpose.”
Later, I realized that my urge to go out with friends was part of my deeper need to be around people, to meet people, to make relationships.
I knew my true purpose, my sankalpa, and that internal insistence to connect with people on a deeper level fit into that concept.
Why would I ever stray from my truth? Everything else wasn’t serving me.
I always need to be where I’m growing. If I don’t feel like I’m growing within one medium, then I know it’s time to find something new.
By living confidently and authentically as myself within this holistic realm, I can connect.
I can live my truth.
I have had many teachers throughout my journey to a purposeful life.
One that stands out to me is the instructor who first introduced me to ayurveda.
She taught me so much about the spiritual side of yoga, the side that I was always attracted to but just didn’t have the tools for.
In a way, I felt like I was following in her footsteps. She got into ayurveda, so I got into ayurveda. She got into astrology, so I did a natal birth chart reading with her. It just so happened that our interests would overlap synchronistically.
For years, she’s been telling me to go to kundalini yoga, and a year ago I finally went.
It’s a miracle. For me, it’s an instant feeling of release and clarity. I love the chakra systems, so I can feel that so deeply during my practice. I can actually ask myself, “Where am I feeling the chakra release?” Kundalini is so challenging mentally. Physically yes, but in such a loving way that you don’t realize it. It always pushes me past my mental barriers.
In my own classes, a lot of authenticity comes into the room.
One of my students had a severe speech impediment that I noticed in our conversations before class. Once after a class, he came up to me and spoke his truth, almost an entire paragraph of words, as clear as day.
He told me how much he loves our intentions and how the breath work changes everything for him. To hear him speak so eloquently and to hear that right after our practice was a wow moment, just so powerful.
To see that hope in his eyes and know that he was healing himself, and I was just giving him the tools to do it - that was sankalpa, that was educating and inspiring to the max.
It’s absolute bliss. I feel light, like I’m at my highest energy.
To me, that is the meaning of life.
One of my ayurveda teachers gave me enlightening advice when I was floundering: ““I want you to pick one day out of the week where you don’t schedule yourself for work. Do whatever you want to do. Pick the most perfect day for Angelica.”
I was stressed over my work schedule, and felt like I wasn’t doing anything that could be meaningful to my sankalpa, my purpose.
When I considered this advice, I thought, “Wow, a whole day to myself to do whatever I want. What could I do with all of that potential?”
That is the advice I offer to you if you’re in the midst of your own purpose journey. Choose a day, and leave your schedule unblocked. Allow yourself the freedom to do what you want to do, what your soul has been craving for far too long.
Maybe you’ll find yourself in an art class, or hiking, or jumping around dancing.
Whatever it is, those childlike things that spark your creativity will have a major effect in chakra-land.
Ignite your second chakra and get your creative juices flowing.
For me, that day looks something like this: Wake up, work up a sweat, then get a smoothie bowl. Spend the afternoon outside, walking around, and touching the trees.
Take a kundalini yoga class, then head out for a bike ride around the lake, ending up at the beach. After a day spent in the sunshine, I’d plan a really yummy dinner that would be vegan and gluten-free because I love food so much.
We’re all here to serve a purpose, and if you don’t feel like you’re contributing to the collective, it’s really hard to wake up every day and think “Why am I here?”
That’s why I love the idea of these dedicated days for self-exploration. Spend them however you want to, no boundaries and no judgment at all. Just truly be yourself.
That’s where your purpose will come alive.
Angelica is one of those lucky souls who is intimately aware of her own purpose, actively nurturing it and setting aside time to re-evaluate her “sankalpa” at every turn.
Though she’s ingrained in a world where speaking about one’s purpose is an everyday occurrence, there are glimmers of Angelica’s story that stick out to me as actionable for those of us who are just beginning to consider our meaning.
What does the perfect day look like to you?
Who would you be if you let your soul run wild?
What if fear could not hold you back?
We’ll be asking ourselves these questions at THE DEEP, the one-day mini-retreat that I’m cohosting with @arielupton of @todayididitright on August 17th, in Chicago.
There, you’ll have a chance to meet with Angelica and discover your dosha, while learning more about the hidden nooks and crannies that add up to make you the person that you are today and the person that you could be tomorrow.
If you can’t make THE DEEP (we’ll miss you!), be sure to check out @soulfullveda’s upcoming ayurvedic cooking classes. For an exclusive discount, send a DM with the names of 3 interested individuals to @soulfullveda and Angelica will make it happen.